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Leading Salafist Yasser Borhami urges yes vote on constitution

Egyptian preacher warns of possible 'foreign intervention' if the constitution is not approved at the upcoming referendum

Ahram Online, Friday 20 Dec 2013
Yasser Borhami
Prominent Salafist cleric Yasser Borhami (Photo: Ahram achieve)
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Leading Salafist preacher Yasser Borhami has given his public endorsement to Egypt’s draft constitution, urging Egyptians to vote yes in the national referendum on the draft in January.

"There could be foreign intervention, division in the armed forces, collapse of the economy or an internal war between the people [if people vote no]," he said during a sermon he delivered on Friday at Al-Bokhary Mosque in Upper Egypt's Kafr Al-Sheikh.

The preacher has been in the public eye recently because of his strong endorsement of the amended draft.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, however, has recently called for a boycott of the upcoming referendum, describing the amended charter as null and void because it was "drafted by a minority and is designed to give immunity to murderers who led a bloody military coup that was an insult to the dignity and will of Egyptians."

Egypt's non-Islamist political forces had repeatedly argued that the 2012 constitution was not representative of all sections of society, having been drafted by an assembly that was dominated by Islamists.

The constitution was suspended when the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi was ousted from the presidency by the military in July after nationwide protests against his rule.

Some human rights organisations have criticised the new draft constitution, which was completed in early December, arguing that it enshrines the power of the military and does not go far enough to protect rights and freedoms.

The draft will go to national referendum on 14-15 January.

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